2 B. POLEVOI hurriedly right after I returned from Kuzmin's funeral, describes an 80-year-old collective farmer who repeated the exploit of Ivan Susanin, legendary hero of the people's liberation struggle in Russia in the early 17th century. At the cost of his life he led enemy troops deep into an impassable forest from where none of them returned. The story was raw and badly presented. As soon as I returned to Moscow from the front, I was summoned^ by the Pravda editor-in-chief, who told me that my write- up of that outstanding exploit had been too hasty and that it had been done in the style of a cub reporter. ult could have been made into a beautiful story," he reproached me and, with his habit of generalising, added: "I have said it to the other war correspondents and I am saying it to you: make notes of everything out of the ordinary that you hear of or see performed. It is your civic duty. More, it is your duty as a member of the Party. To keep these exploits alive so that our people can learn now or later the full story of how their fellow-citizens fought fascism and triumphed you must write everything down." I got myself a thick notebook in a stiff binding and began to write down all the conspicuous acts of heroism I came across at the front lines, noting down the civil address of the heroes themselves or of the witnesses. Meanwhile, my work as a war correspondent kept me moving from one sector of the war to another, from the front to partisan territory behind the enemy lines, where intrepid task groups were harassing the enemy from bases in the forests, and then again to the front lines in Stalin- grad, the Kursk Salient, Korsun-Shevchenkovsky, the Vistula, the Neisse, the Spree___ Altogether, I made notes of sixty-five such episodes. One of them, about an unusual meeting with Senior Guards Lieutenant Alexei Maresyev of the Air Force, de- veloped into the book A Story About a Real Man. Of the others, I selected twenty-four, which I felt were the most dramatic, typical and revealing and used them for the stories in We—Soviet People. To this day I have not lost the habit of making notes of what I see. In The Return, a short story, I endeavoured to draw a word-portrait of a noted Moscow steelmaker.